Julie Krone, the day before her return to racing.

Julie Krone, the day before her return to racing.


Krone Fourth in Return at Santa Anita

Hall of Fame jockey Julie Krone finished fourth aboard Justly Royal at Santa Anita in her first race since April 1999.

Justly Royal, a 2-year-old Royal Academy filly making her debut for trainer Richard Mandella on the Santa Anita downhill turf course at about 6 1/2 furlongs, was crowded in the stretch but rallied strongly before tiring late to finish about three lengths behind the winner, Silky Summer.

"Like the horse, maybe I needed a race today," Krone told TVG's Claudia Simon. "But it felt good.

"I wanted to win so bad," she added. "I'll have to take it on again tomorrow."

Krone, the all-time leading female jockey with 3,545 career victories and purse earnings of more than $81 million, has three mounts scheduled at Santa Anita on Saturday, which is California Cup Day. She's on Cee's Elegance in the second race, First Draft in the fifth and Yes We Do in race seven.

The 39-year-old Krone said she plans to ride regularly in Southern California.

Justly Royal raced near the rear of the 11-horse field before improving her position. After running into a bit of interference, she switched to the outside for her rally.

"It was her first race," Krone said. "She'll do much better her next time."

Silky Summer, with Laffit Pincay Jr. riding, paid $27.20 for the win.

(Chart, Equibase)